SignalSoft Corporation (Nasdaq: SGSF), the developer of the Wireless Location Services(R) software suite, today announced it has been awarded a location-based services patent by the United States Patent and Trademark Office. The patent, No. 6,212,392 B1, describes various methods for using a quadtree data structure to determine whether a wireless communication device is within a specified area, such as a service zone of a location based services application. The quadtree effectively translates a subscriber's exact location into useful zones such as postal codes, communities or emergency dispatch zones. This adds efficiency to a range of location-based services, including 911 emergency calls, location-sensitive billing and localized content applications. The award of this patent further establishes SignalSoft as a leader in providing efficient and reliable location-based services to wireless network operators worldwide.
"Since our inception in 1995, SignalSoft has placed a great emphasis on research and development initiatives," said David Hose, co-founder and CEO of SignalSoft. "This patent speaks to the value that wireless network operators receive when deploying location-based services from SignalSoft."
The quadtree representation of a geographical area facilitates the definition and re-definition of service zones on an application-by-application basis, as well as the instantaneous comparison of a subscriber's location to the service zone definition. This assists in the provisioning of location data, and the efficient use of memory and disk space in wireless networks. Using this method also provides wireless network operators the ability to efficiently revise service zone boundaries and make other database revisions without disrupting the operation of service applications.
The quadtree method can be used for many types of location-based services, including SignalSoft's Wireless 911 (W911), Location Sensitive Billing (LSB), and local.info(TM) products. SignalSoft's W911 product matches the cell phone location to the closest public safety answering point (PSAP). The LSB product allows network operators to charge for calls based on a mobile subscriber's current location. SignalSoft's local.info product provides information regarding a variety of local services and amenities based on the subscriber's location. In each case, the quadtree allows for fast and efficient operation as well as improved ability to make database revisions on the fly.
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